Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why do I look younger than other people my age?

That's me, front center row in the tie-dyed T-shirt.  It was a 60's  theme

        We've been dealing with some minor controversy in the past couple of posts on this blog, so today I thought I'd hit a really big topic that might make some of you enraged, others amused, and still others scratching your heads wondering why I'm such a dopey guy sometimes.   This may be my most controversial post of all.

        A post by Karen Walker stirred me to add this bit of nonsense to my blog composition queue and I figured now might be the time to pull out the big guns--er, maybe I shouldn't go there and instead say, now seemed like a good time to get a bit silly.

       At my 25th high school reunion--this would have been in 1994 if you're interested in math--I made an interesting discovery.  Nearly all of my fellow classmates except for a few of the more exceptional looking women had aged much more than I had.  Most of them looked like they had ten years or more on me.  Had I not recognized them I would have thought I'd walked into the wrong reunion.

        The good-looking women I figured were probably being helped by make-up, but the guys all looked liked they'd graduated years ahead of me.  I puzzled over this phenomena wondering why I had not aged like they had.  I felt this smug satisfaction of now being the best looking guy in my class.  Even the guys who had been the hunks and lookers when they were seniors in high school were now looking more like plain old senior citizens.

        Over the next several years I became more aware of how I gauged against my old friends--and I emphasize old.  They were aging but I didn't look much older than I did in college.  Oh sure, sometimes the lady at Jack-in-the-Box gave me a senior citizen discount when I stopped by for breakfast on my way to work, but she probably did that for everybody.  No way did I look like any senior citizen.

        Then not long ago my wife and I were wondering about the age of a certain lady we know.  I knew she had to be older than I.  And then she mentioned what her age was--three years older than I am.  I commented to my wife how much older the lady looked than I look.

         "Not really," my wife responded.

          Taken aback I said, "She looks a lot older than I do."   And then added, "Doesn't she?"

          "You don't look that much younger," my wife said.

          Thanks for that vote of confidence, dear.  I didn't understand.  What was my wife seeing that I wasn't?   I went to the mirror to check it out.  There he was--same young looking guy as always.   The hair was maybe not as dark as it used to be.  That is, what hair was left.  The face was still the same face I'd always known.  I didn't look all that different.

         Oh sure, I can feel my body falling apart, but I'm just out of shape and tired.  When I tell my doctor she tells me it's because I'm getting older.  Duh--I guarantee you I'm still just as young as I was back when I was younger.  I can see it in the mirror.  Yeah, it's the same me I've always known.

        Isn't it?


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45 comments:

  1. I guess these things can come down to perception but honestly you've got to trust yourself Lee, if you feel like you look younger than others in your school at the time then you probably do, it must be a great feeling haha to know you've aged so well, I guess it all goes down to genes and you just have some great ageing genes you silver fox you haha.

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  2. I don't believe in this age thing Lee. I find it's an excuse for doctors to put every ache or pain down to age. I think it's in the mind, if one has no or very little stress then it shows in how your posture is , wearing a smile can work wonders, of course with men the problem of hair one can't do much about. But inner peace can work wonders. When I met you I didn't think you were the age you are.
    These past months I've experienced much stress due to family problems and I have come to the conclusion that inner peace is the answer.
    Age is just a number after all.

    Yvonne.

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  3. My wife and I look younger than others our age and people tell us that all the time. I was even carded recently - and I'm almost fifty!
    I think you look younger than you really are, Lee.

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  4. Mirror, mirror on the wall, which one do I look youngest of all? Ha! It's not the mirror, it's your mind. You see only what you want to see. Like anorexics. But then I believe being happy and radiating happiness can take years off the face. The bod? Yeah, that takes some work.

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  5. I love this post! My Mom has a photo of her class reunion and she so doesn't belong in the photo. She looks 20 yrs younger. I think we are part alien, ;D...ssssh, don't tell, lol. I get carded too, when I buy wine. I am fifty. In fact the last time it happened-the clerk called her friends over. She yelled, "come see this"... I was embarrassed, but flattered.

    YOU look good Lee, be proud! I know, I still see that 20 yr old gal in the mirror and wonder why is she going gray?! Keep that mind young and have fun!

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  6. I do look younger than I am and very few people guess my age, but when I look in the mirror? Oh my, I see every line and flaw, lol!

    I met someone (Medical practitioner) two years ago, who is now a good friend, we were chatting she made a comment and I laughingly replied that I was older and wiser and she should listen to me--we were teasing. She laughed and made a pithy comment,and told me, you're not THAT much older than me so you can take your, what 7 maybe 8 years? and stuff it. Told her I was older than she thought. Upshot was I took out my license. The comment to that was "No F***ing way!" Good boost to the ego, lol!

    But honestly, I think much how we look is based on how we live and what we've faced. Some have a perception of how a certain age should look and pull out their rocking chairs to sit way too soon or try to put someone else in one too soon, lol!

    I had great role models. I look at how my parents were--vibrant and full of adventure and curiosity. Honestly, they always looked 10-15 years younger than their contemporaries. My mom is 75 and the age gap is only now closing. But she still doesn't look 75 and she still has a young spirit of wonder and curiosity.

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  7. Yeamie -- Perception can sometimes lead to self-deception.

    Yvonne -- We are all kids at heart. The inner peace is the most important place for each of us to find in order to have a more satisfactory life

    Alex -- I always get carded when I'm in Tennessee. I guess it's some kind of weird law for people who can't figure out age.

    Em-- Happiness is the light that shines from within. I have always been essentially happy on the inside.

    Ella-- I know I'm not really kidding myself, but I also know how I feel. Beauty is more than just how we look on the outside.

    Lee

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  8. Sia -- Good comment. I think I'm much the same way. My mother has always had a young spirit and only in her 80's was a bit of weariness begun to set in. Factors like smoking, eating habits, alcohol use, etc play a big factor in the way we age.

    Lee

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  9. Hmm. Is this like when I got up in a waiting area recently to give an older lady my seat and found out later she's younger than I am?

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  10. Ha, ha, ha, a nice break after all that 'serious' stuff.

    Perception of self-deception who really cares. Beauty is only skin deep and age is just a number, who you 'really' are always manages to shine through no matter what.

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  11. Are you trying to tell me I don't in fact look as young as I think I do?

    dammit.

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  12. Arlee, I totally believe it's all in how we interact with the world around us that keep us young or ages us. And I don't just mean exercise and eating healthy but also being happy and letting annoying things go.

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  13. Selfdenial is the best cure for pretty much anything :)

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  14. The title to this post totally sucked me in. Age is all relative, but if the checkers at the grocery store knew how happy they make me by asking for my ID to buy wine I'm certain they'd do it a LOT more often.

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  15. I don't ever want to be the same old me I was always was. The thought of waking up 5 years from now and just being the same person I am today frightens me.

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  16. There is that saying, "You are as old as you feel." I think it is a good thing that you feel so young. Embrace it.

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  17. Like the shirt, Lee. I also like the shoes and skirts on a couple of the women.

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  18. LD -- I never give up my seat for ladies for fear they would think it an insult. And I let women open doors for me.

    Faraway -- What do you mean? I'm being very serious here today.

    mshatch -- I don't know. What do other people tell you? My wife essentially is saying I'm delusional about my age.

    Southpaw -- A happy countenance and a pleasant attitude means everything in how others perceive us.

    Dezmond -- Works for me except when I feel my age and then I use age to my advantage.

    Johanna --Do you live in Tennessee? That's the only place where I seem to get carded.

    Andrew - I don't mean that I am the same old person, I just look the same. Or at least that is what I sometimes try to believe. Otherwise, the changes have been many.

    Robin --- Sometimes though age can be used as a good excuse or an advantage. I'll work it in whatever way works best.

    DG -- I got the shirt down at Venice Beach (oh, that makes sense). Wish I still had it. I loaned it to a young guy I used to know and never saw it again. I probably wouldn't have worn it in public anyway.

    Lee


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  19. I won't ask how old your wife looks. Might get you in trouble.

    Secret to looking young? Eat right, exercise, get rest, and don't have kids! Whenever someone is surprised by my age, I tell them it's because I don't have kids. They age you.

    Would you believe I'm turning 47 next month?

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  20. I didn't read all the other comments, but I think that what we see in the mirror is different than reality. Just like your voice sounds different, you look different. sometimes when I see pictures of myself (v. looking the the mirror), I am surpised by how old I look. The same thing happens to me every now and then when I just get a glance of my reflection. I don't know what the phenomena is but it's real.

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  21. I think we are as young as we feel - we just need to stop looking in the mirror. Thanks for the link, Lee
    Karen

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  22. Teehee! :)
    Numbers are just numbers and whenever I start to feel old, I try to remember feeling old is much better than the alternative :)

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  23. When my son was in high school and I would have been mid to late 30's somebody thought he was my boyfriend as I paid his way into his sister's volleyball game. He was NOT happy about that.

    I was.

    T

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  24. Oh and he didn't sit with me during the game. :)

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  25. This is really an insightful post. I suppose we are as young (or some cases "old") as we perceive ourselves to be. I often think of myself as much younger than I actually am. Does the world see me this way? I really don't know but what I do know is that I will not go gently into that good night. :P

    I truly enjoyed reading your post.

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  26. Diane -- I might disagree about the kid thing. At least when they're young they kind of keep you younger. It's when they become teens and young adults that they can become worrisome. I wouldn't trade my kids for anything though. But I guess not having kids worked for you--and 47 ain't old anyway--at least not from my perspective.

    Thea -- I think just the daily looking at ourselves and seeing little perceptible change from day to day creates the illusion that we aren't changing that much. But you're right about the photographs.

    Karen -- I think I need to look in the mirror when I shave and just to make sure there's nothing weird on my face.

    Jemi -- Yes, I'd like to have a number of years ahead of me whether it means getting older or not.

    Teresa -- I've had people think I was my youngest daughter's grandfather. Sure she looks very young for her age, but I am not happy when that happens.

    Shah P-- Thank you for visiting. And I don't care what anyone says, I'm just a big kid.

    Lee




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  27. Beauty is only skin-deep but age goes bone-deep, and those bones ache.

    It's funny, LEE... I read the blog installment's title, then I clicked on the photo to enlarge it. And then I thought:

    What the hell's Lee talking about? He doesn't look any younger than most of those other people in the picture.

    Then I read the rest of the blog bit.

    That was a funny opening question to be followed by that photo.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  28. That was a timely post Lee...and maybe you have unearthed the reason I have never attended a reunion...and my 40th is next year!

    I have this conversation with myself every time I look in the mirror...however I NEVER have it with anyone else, not even my wife!

    Denial my friend...it is what keeps us young!

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  29. Perception is more important than reality - As long as you feel good!

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  30. I'm older than most of you, but like my mom said years ago, I don't feel it and I certainly don't look as old as some of the old fogies in my building - they may be younger than I am of course!!!















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  31. StMc -- Hey! Who's side are you on anyway? Of course I look younger than everyone else. Look at that shirt!

    Chuck -- Hmmm. Maybe that's why nobody ever organized a 40th reunion in my class. There's no denial about it! I don't look anywhere near my real age.

    Charmaine -- I felt lousy last week, but I felt great today and maybe so-so tonight. Think positive, my lad! Positive!

    Jo -- I refuse to be an old fogie. For today at least.

    Lee

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  32. Lee-

    Sad but true...we do not see ourselves as others see us.

    Plus I don't know about you, but I just fiddle with the lighting in my bathroom, and when I find that point where I look great, I figure I'll just make sure I only go to places with the same lighting.

    Larry

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  33. HA! I can definitely relate to this post. Some years back, my husband and I went to one of our reunions, (30th, I think) and we couldn't get over how many OLD people were there!

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  34. I always feel the same way. I see people I used to go to high school with, and I don't know if life just hit them hard, but some of them look old. Like, way older than I am. Meanwhile I have a baby face and still get ID'd. I'm 6 years older than my wife but no one can ever tell because we look like we could be the same age. Hey, works for me, right? I could have worse problems?

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  35. Hi Lee - having just got another year older ... I commented ... "as I get more wizened with excessive wisdom" - true in both ways!

    It's the attitude that does it .. and if we act like we're on the way out people see us that way ...

    Like you I'm the same 'old' person just much younger!! Cheers Hilary

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  36. Lee, I just read you post, and laughed my head off. Hey my friend, don't pay attention to what your wife said to you. Oops, on the other hand, don't tell her what said.
    Listen, I have seen some of my old friends, and I mean old, and they do look like their aging parents. I do look younger than they. If you don't believe me, ask me.

    All kidding aside, I trust the mirror more than any one who has looked at me in, ahem, shock. Not really, I do trust my mirror as it has become my best critic. It tells me every day that I am looking. It never lies to me.

    Take it for what it's worth, you look younger than your stated age.
    Take it from shall we say, a person who knows young when he sees it.
    Keep looking young!! Blessings.

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  37. You end up looking about as young as you feel, I think.
    I was dubbed a 'non-ager' at my recent 20th reunion.
    Of course, when you spend your college years looking about 12, then hey there has to be a good side to that coin!

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  38. Larry -- Then there's the trick of painting a "hair halo". I position my image to fit into the long tresses and I look like the hippie of my youth. Not really, but it might be a marketable idea.

    Susan -- Yeah, I can see that. Who are all these old people and what do they have to do with me?

    Beer -- That is an enviable situation to be in.

    Hilary -- If we don't always fit the part we can fake it. We've had years of practice.

    Dr. Johnny -- After all we know best what's going on with us. I take what others say with a grain of salt--well, not too many grains. At my age I have to watch my sodium intake.

    Jasmine -- That sounds like my youngest daughter. She's college age but she could pass for a middle schooler.

    Lee

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  39. Oooo-you are cutting close to my own thoughts. I think the same thing, until I see the reflection of some older woman in a window. Then I realize it is me. My solution is to not look at my reflection.

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  40. LEE ~
    This is totally off topic but... do you remember back when that Christian minister character Terry Jones was planning to burn Qur'ans?

    You posted a blog bit about that and had quite a few comments submitted, as I recall. There was a couple whom you had a rather lengthy debate with and I later joined in it, in support of you.

    Do you think you could find that old post again? I believe Sept. 11, 2010 was when Jones planned to burn the Qu'rans. I looked through your posts around that time (Aug., Sept.) but didn't find it.

    Any chance, when time permits, you could locate it for me? I was just thinking about it because of the recent gun debate and your mention of the millions of innocents murdered in fascist regimes where guns had been banned.

    Thanks, Brother.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  41. You look great and have so much energy Lee! It's funny how we see ourselves and how other's see us. When I first took my mom to visit retirement facilities she had the same response at every residence, "There are OLD people here."
    Julie

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  42. Age is a state of mind
    You are young!!!!

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  43. Susan -- Maybe vampires have the right idea: Get rid of all the mirrors.

    StMc-- You got my email.

    Julie -- I wish I really had as much energy as I seem to have on this blog. I'm tired!

    Leslie -- Yes, I am younger than my mother and a whole lot of other people. I just have to keep things in perspective.

    Lee

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  44. Great blog! I love reading this. I agree with that saying "You are as old as you feel." Anyway, age is only a number.

    -Remi-D.com

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  45. Jennifer --Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    Lee

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